In our quest to balance work and life, we often state that the secret resides with flexible schedules. So, as we pride ourselves on bringing you only the best, most accurate information, we decided to do some research of our own before we put this topic out into the world. The research, however, led us down a rabbit hole of contrasting and repetitive tools and tricks, and in our signature style, we, of course, gave everything a go.
Five tips stood out the most, and whilst it may not be the perfect list for you to bend your schedule, we believe that you will find some value here.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Five points of consideration for a flexible schedule
1. Organise your chaos
A messy desk is unproductive. And as people who once believed from the depths of our hearts that we worked in an organised chaos mindset, we realised that we sought small gratifications, which derailed productivity.
What do we mean by this?
You see, organised chaos is an accepted form of working where there isn’t a filing system in place, no specification of where your tools will be, and an attempt to keep everything in reach. But, tricked into believing that we know exactly where everything is, we find excitement in the more minor victories – such as quickly locating that vital document with minimal scattering of the clutter.
Psychologically, the small victory boosts endorphins, and we assume that we are much more productive than in reality because of it.
Through organising a proper filing system, and an uncluttered workspace, productivity increases by at least 39%, which is massive. You can read more about the research into organised spaces and productivity here.
2. Sectionalise your tasks and day
Have you ever started on a task to receive a notification, message, or email that throws you off completely?
In our quest for flexibility, we have a solution for you. We found that an organised desk yields the organisation of your tasks and day. The Stack Method provides a masterclass guide to organising your emails and scheduling into productive segments or sections.
The method breaks your day into bite-sized tasks to plough through without distraction, whether responding to emails, creating reports, or writing documents. The goal is to remove all sorts of distractions from your immediate task and simply get it done.
This method, by various names, is applied to our current technology without us making use of it. So, for example, your PC and even your mobile device may be equipped with ‘focus mode’, which essentially does the same thing of muting your notifications and allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
3. Tools and equipment
Having the right tools is crucial to time-saving and productivity. You cannot cut a tree with a spade, well, at least not as quickly as you would with an axe. However, even an axe needs sharpening every so often to ensure that you keep up with your tree-felling requirements.
We don’t believe you’ll be cutting any physical trees in the office, though your tools may need to be upgraded, updated, or enhanced to provide you with the best working experience.
We have all experienced the frustration of slow dial-up internet, the buffering circle, and the lengthy start-up of an old PC. Those minutes equate to days over a year.
It is in your best interest to sort out your equipment for a more productive and flexible working experience.
For the Windows users out there, you may want to check out Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 11, which promises a more productive user experience.
4. Ask for assistance
We all have that perception, especially on good days, that we can do everything ourselves. The reality, however, is far from true. More so when our quest is for more flexibility and that elusive work-life balance.
The trick is to ask for assistance.
Psychologically, we tend to avoid asking for help when we need it, but this is a condition that must be rewired. The best managers and CEOs thrive because they rely on a functional and efficient team.
Understandably, though, as a business owner or manager, you may not have the financial means to hire a personal assistant to help you sort through your schedule and tasks. In our effort to find a workaround for this issue, we came across the option to hire a virtual PA at a fraction of the cost. And no, this is not an AI service or an app. Instead, it is a company that sources the right virtual assistant according to your needs without breaking your budget.
5. Refresh, reset, breathe
You need to reset yourself to achieve a work-life balance beyond asking for help, organising your desk, updating your equipment, and sectionalising your schedule.
Take a break, a vacation, a holiday to unwind, regroup and refresh.
The power of a few deep breaths is underestimated. So, breathe!
Flexibility in your schedule comes across when all the mechanisms of your daily work together to create optimal efficiency. As a result, you save hours, and those hours lead to the opportunity to engage in activities that you enjoy.
In turn, your enjoyment, along with your productivity at work, sets the foundation for true work-life balance and a flexible schedule.